How much GC is too much GC?

“Ay masyadong gc, di marunong mag-enjoy sa buhay ‘to.”

“‘Di na kita tatanungin, obvious namang nag-review ka. Memorize mo na lahat eh.”

“Sus, pabibo. Grades lang ‘yan!”

These are just some of  the most common lines that grade conscious students normally hear. And yes, I am one and I experience this all the time. I believe these lines are a testament of the rise of smart shaming in the society. The aforementioned lines are like music to our ears, to tell you honestly. The term “Grade Conscious” or “GC” has eventually become our scarlet letter that seems to be wrapped all around our head open for public scrutiny. Frankly, it’s already part of our identity. People think that once you belong to this club, you become that student whose attention is directed exclusively to grades and studies. You are that student who aces everything without breaking a sweat. You are that student who is stereotyped for being anti-social. You have established a reputation that your life revolves around your grades and you get anxious about the thought of getting 85 below. Being grade conscious is like joining a religion that is yet to be entered by the masses. I admit that I am part of that cult. For the record, let me answer those who keep on sneering at GC students like me.  No, we don’t know everything and we don’t claim superiority over others. And yes, we still have time to socialize and have fun. And of course, we get to experience difficulties in some lessons too. We are still considered normal students who also commit mistakes and encounter failures. But instead of dwelling on them, we search for ways to gain more knowledge, to learn from our wrongdoings, and to find room for improvement.

The only difference is our standards. What’s enough for others might be insufficient for us. A passing grade for some might be our most dreaded mark. Label us “fishing for compliments” but it’s unlike us to drag ourselves into the incompetence of others. We are always on the hunt for the best. We are afraid of being average. It’s not being papansin, it’s not being pabibo. It’s about striving for the best and adhering to your own standards. I know that some students have diverse thoughts regarding this. Yes, grades are just numerical and abstract representations of your academic efforts and they don’t necessarily measure your intelligence, creativity, and interpersonal skills. And yes, grades don’t guarantee you a brighter future. Your medals and certificates don’t determine success. But I digress. As opposed to majority, I believe that there will always be a correlation among the two. Your progress in one thing can lead to your excellence in the other. Grades can, somehow, tell how far you are willing to risk in order to achieve something. They are a concrete evidence of your consistent labor and discipline hence, they are more than just numbers.

Now you ask me, how much grade conscious is too much grade conscious? When does it become too much? On a personal note, I say as long as you keep everything balanced and your genuine desire is to learn and to give your best, nothing will ever be too much.  As long as you don’t step on anyone’s toes just to get ahead, as long as you strive, then it’s fine. After all, focusing on your studies is better than slacking off.


Is it difficult to be GC? Being the quintessential grade conscious student I am, I may say no because it’s innate in me to give my best in what I do. Since then, I’ve always been a studious kid. My level of grade consciousness, however, might be brought by certain circumstances such as being surrounded by competitive individuals for many years or being faced with the high expectations of my teachers. Admit it or not, being GC is not the hardest part. Maintaining your grades and assuring that you get past the cutoff grade is. Going the extra mile and spreading yourself too thin is. Keeping up with the pressure and the expectations from yourself and from your family is. It is draining. It can even lead to burnouts. But how do we keep up? It all comes down to your mental strength. It’s hard to be consistent. It’s hard to stay focused, and with the screwed up education system we have at present, it’s impossible not to be grade conscious. Hence, there’s a need for a  motivation. You have to visualize a finish line or a trophy for you to keep on pushing and hustling. You need to keep your eyes on the prize and when you see the result of your hard work, you’ll get motivated to do even better.

Best of You

In this age where people consider it normal to deliberately mock those who are vocal and firm about their beliefs and knowledge, it’s better to stay above it.  Don’t ever think that it’s wrong to study hard or it’s wrong to be aware. It’s your duty to educate and motivate yourself and not let anyone tell you otherwise. Turn their annoying edi wow’s to uplifting OMG How?!’s.  I kid you not. 

Being GC pushes you to your boundaries. It pushes you to your limits and this way, you’ll get to know how far you are willing to go for the things you want. In all honesty, I view school work as challenges that I need to surpass and complete within a given time frame. That’s how I see it. I always find a way to complete them in a systematic way, and there needs to be a step by step process in their completion. And this is what others don’t understand. Regardless of the merit, I always remind myself that learning should be the main priority. Learning is just as important and it goes hand in hand with getting nice grades. This keeps you motivated and competent. It makes you want to strive harder. And if you keep that drive, once you get to college or if you get employed, it’s going to work on your advantage. Your persistence and discipline will save you. You don’t underestimate the power of grades, they can help in your future as well. 

When is it inappropriate?

On the downside, if you use your knowledge or intelligence to blatantly display superiority and to belittle others, then it’s high time that you should reevaluate yourself. And if you think that getting into the honors list gives you a sense of entitlement, then settle your personal issues. There are those who deliberately pull other people down just to get forward. And worse, some even cheat their way up. I would rather enjoy my humble achievements than get awarded for something I didn’t work hard for. Academic dishonesty is a whole different story. Going back, instead of being condescending, aspire to be inspiring. Lead by example, you know, if others see that you have this unquenched thirst for knowledge, chances are they will do the same. And also, if you neglect your personal health, sacrifice family time, and ignore your personal recreation just to get that 98, you’re not helping. Stop normalizing and sensationalizing burnouts and toxic practices to get straight A’s. Quit glorifying sleepless nights to ace that exam. You have to rest if you need. Learn how to step back in order to make multiple steps forward. I know the dilemma of wanting to push yourself further and wanting to quit. Just train your mind to see the positive. The glory and prestige goes away with time, but learning does not. I repeat, it’s all about balance. There will always be a healthy and an appropriate method in achieving your aspirations in life.

Being gc isn’t only limited to getting good grades, it’s also about knowing the importance of learning, being competent, and excelling in your own field. It’s also about igniting the fire inside you. There’s more than what meets the eye. I think that’s what people should remember, it’s never wrong to be grade conscious. You just have to know your limits and have the perfect balance of everything. Again, grades measure how willing you are to exert effort on something. And I wish that people regard that value of persistence and labor in their daily lives. That’s all. 



Thoughts? Comment down below.

Life Lately: Road to College + The Truth about Senior Life

DSC_0538-01DSC_0536-01My blog went on a hiatus because school is just so demanding. You all know that I am a sucker for learning. I have so much more blog posts on the way and I can’t wait to work on them as soon as I’m on my break! Now, my life has been all about…

  1. Doing my best to find rest – The past months have been quite bearable (despite the busy schedule) because of long weekends every week. I think this was for 5 weeks because of no classes and holidays. Cheers to that! But wait, long weekends don’t necessarily mean rest and recreation, most of the time puro school work at thesis ang kaharap mo. Told you guys that in SHS, stress is not a habit, it’s a lifestyle. Although I’m stressed and all  that, I manage to find enough sleep because sleep is what’s most important.
  2. WORK LOAD IS HEAVY –  Oh for the love of Kim Bok Joo, weightlifting is a senior high game. Pero hindi weights ang binubuhat mo, groupmates. Groupmates guys. Nagtataka nga ako bakit di pa ako naging buff eh, siguro nga may abs na yung utak ko. Two research subjects na karamihan ako (or only with the help of one of my groupmates) ang gumawa. I always assign tasks naman eh, pero they don’t give it their all. Hay, di na lang ako papa-stress. I’ll just remove them if possible or give them what they deserve. Bye felicia! Maswerte ka na kung may isa kang ka-group na maayos. At least nababawasan yung burden! (Shoutout to Tey! Hello jo, thank you!)
  3. Getting sick – Due to the heavy work load, I lack sleep, I skip meals (or if I don’t, chances are, I feed on Jollibee), and my immune system is very low. Madami ring may sakit so madali akong mahawa. I had a really bad case of flu last month. I was gone for a week but I was able to catch up naman. It’s about bouncing back and getting back to your normal routine. Laban!
  4. Getting out of my comfort zone – I’m not a competitive person and that’s not my nature but the past week was busy because of DSPC. I just enjoy that I’m working with like-minded individuals, aka my former best classmates. It’s a great opportunity for us to bond again after 2 years! I missed you guys so much!  Okay, now I understand that this is how TV and Radio programs work. It takes soooo much work, effort, time, and mental strength to air one six-minute show.
  5. WINNING – Our team had the last laugh. Amidst all the technical difficulties, failed performances, and rush, we emerged as the champion. I also bagged one of the individual awards! That said, we’re heading to the regionals in November and may the odds be ever in our favor. Angeles City represent!
  6. Being fearless – If you have a voice, don’t hesitate to speak out. If you’re given the power and authority to represent and lead a group of people, don’t be afraid to make a stand. Be firm on your beliefs and stand by your principles. Stand up for what you believe. Don’t be afraid to voice out your thoughts, specially if you know you’re on the right side of things. Buuut, be responsible for what you say! Make sure that they can’t bring you down. I’m just so damn tired of the bullshit that’s happening around us that I’m slowly developing this IDGAF attitude. Not everything needs a reaction I know, but I’m so fed up already. Watch out. (I got a list of names and yours is in red underlined.)
  7. College Entrance Test Season – Super naubos na pera ko dahil sa mga application forms! Just took the ACET last Saturday and my fingers are crossed! The English proficiency part was okay, it was the easiest! But the Math part was the death of me. Super bilis din ng ibang parts. Like the Vocabulary and Analogy part, 5 minutes for 25 items. PAAAAANOOO?!  Nakakaintimidate din yung aura ng mga galing sa ibang schools, kasi mukha silang matatalino and nerds, I feel so insecure. Nonetheless, it was worth the experience! I just hope that I’ll be able to insert the words “AMDG” and “Atenista” on my bio someday. Ahhh, my Ateneo dreams. ❤ Up next, UPCAT!
  8. Learning outside the classroom – Because of the people I just met, super dami kong natutunan.  And it’s very very refreshing to meet and see new people. I can already imagine how my college life will look like na! You don’t just confine yourself in the four walls of the classroom, there’s so much more to see, learn, and experience. How I wish I realized this sooner. And learning outside is, I can say, better than sitting for 8 hours a day. You’ll get to see how things work. Shoutout to my TV Broad team! Miss you guys!  This experience is truly irreplaceable and I’m just so thankful for this wonderful opportunity.
  9. Taylor Swift addiction –  What a time to be alive because of new Taylor Swift music. I’m so hooked on the theories about her new album and I just can’t wait! Still listening to her music from 10 years ago because her songs and music videos never go out of style. Honestly, I miss the old Taylor, but she can’t come right now because she’s dead. I’m so excited for the new lyrics, drama,  and cryptic messages! Are you ready for it?

That’s basically it for now. We’re down to the last part of the first sem! Time flies so fast and as per usual, I have mixed feelings about getting old. Haha! Truth is, it’s exhausting but I’m still trying to see the positive in everything. Can’t wait for this sem to be over! Check out my IG stories if you want latest updates! What are ya’ll up to, guys? 🙂

A Complete Guide for Senior High School Freshies (Part 2)

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Here’s the second part of my guide for SHS froshies!

Work it, baby.

  • Get involved in events – There are different activities every single month so it’s your chance to shine! Immerse yourself in various activities, be a part of the committee, and participate in contests. The possibilities are endless, don’t just sit there and watch. Nakakasawa ding nasa audience no! Basta kung kaya mo at gusto mo, sige lang. If you’re not happy, you don’t have to force yourself naman eh. But as much as possible, don’t be afraid to try new things! It’s your last shot in high school, make it count!
  • WORK ETHICS – And since there are lots of happenings, you can’t avoid working with other people. You’ll have to deal with your teachers and your fellow students most of the time and this requires a strong work ethic. You have to know how to work with difficult people. There are lots of them in high school and you have to know how to deal with them when it comes to projects and events. Madaming mahirap kausap. Nakaka-trigger! I can’t stress how much I dislike working with these kinds of people. If there’s an opportunity coming along your way, think twice before accepting it. Weigh the pros and cons. Evaluate if it’s worth your time and efforts and know who you’ll be working with. If something doesn’t feel right, don’t sign up for it. Learn how to say NO because some people can be so unprofessional. You’ll thank yourself later.  
  • Good reputation and good manners will forever be important – It pays off to have a clean record and a good name in school because your teachers will trust and believe in you buuuuut don’t be fake. Just be kind and well-mannered at all times. Practice common courtesy because as Familians, you’re expected to be refined and respectful. Respect everyone around you, most especially your teachers. Don’t treat them like your barkada even if you’re close to them, they’re still your teachers after all so be polite.
  • Personality is important It’s nice to be important but it’s a lot important to be nice. Always always be kind to everyone around you specially to your teachers and school mates. It doesn’t hurt to smile or say hi to everyone you know! Show kindness. Dapat pwedeng pang Miss/Mister Congeniality! LOL.


  • Your closet will expand and you’ll need all sorts of outfits – I know it’s just me who buys new clothes or shoes when there are events. I bought a cheap blazer because of a debate, I bought different shirts because of Intrams practice, I rented a barong for Buwan ng Wika, I bought new shoes because of Crossfit, I bought new clothes for a hosting stint. What else did I splurge on? #Magastos #Maarte #WagTularan #SomeoneStopMe. I can say that you’ll really need clothes because of the different activities because #fashion #is #passion. Ako lang talaga nagsasabi nito, I know. A corporate attire is necessary because some teachers require it during presentations. Well, the only thing you should buy is a lab gown if you’re taking up STEM! You’ll do experiments in Chem and it’s needed. Magastos lang talaga ako, alam niyo na. Don’t be me. I love the lab gown pa naman because I feel like a legit doctor when I’m wearing it. Haha! In line with this, I can’t wait for the Senior’s ball next year! Real talk to ha, sana naman sa maayos na venue gawin kasi sayang naman kung maganda yung outfit mo tapos chaka yung venue. Brb, contacting Francis Libiran for my outfit. Joke!
  • Bring a laptop with movies or tv series – Or bring magazines and books. Sometimes, teachers don’t show up because they’re either absent, in a meeting, or they totally forgot their schedule. Parang college na medyo hindi, I know the feeling.  To kill time, bring a laptop or iPad (don’t bring phones!) with movies or tv series for you to not get bored! You can watch alone or with your friends or kung gusto mong i-flash sa screen okay lang. You have lots of free time when you’re in SHS. Sometimes I even watch KDramas when my teachers aren’t around. Hahaha!
  • Attend all school events – Since it’s your last year, attend all events if you can! Don’t just attend, be involved! Do something to make these events memorable. It’s your last two years!!! Minsan kasi di naman exciting at nakakatamad na ring pumunta, pero kung kaya niyo, G lang sige! (Hi mommy, sana nababasa mo ‘to.)
  • Retreat is bomb Make the most out of this school event! It may only be an overnight stay but at least you’re away from school! You’ll learn a handful of life lessons. This is also a requirement so you should attend!
  • Join field tripsOnly if you can, and if you want to. I’ve made countless excuses as to why I don’t join, like may motion sickness ako (meron talaga pero konti lang), may gagawin ako that day, aalis kami etc. Now, para sa ikatatahimik ng lahat, I don’t join these trips because AYAW KO. AYOKO. I DON’T WANT TO. Ask me why? It’s super hassle. And chances are, I’ve been to the places na pupuntahan pa lang nila and I can go there naman anytime without waiting for your classmates, the hassle of riding a bus (motion sickness sucks), the extreme puyat (call time is 4 or 5?!), and the fact that you aren’t in control of your time. Then they only have allotted time for certain places because of the tight budget and time constraint, unlike when you travel with your family na hawak mo oras mo. And then they also deal with Metro Manila traffic kapag rush hour, super hassle!!! They arrive in Pampanga around 10 or 11 just because of that! Yun pa lang, nakakapagod na. You don’t even get more than what you pay for — which is one of my major pet peeves. I’d rather travel alone with my family on a weekend para convenient! Enough said. Ayoko na Bimb. Huwag niyo na akong kukulitin kung bakit di ako sumasama ha!  
  • You’ll have friends everywhere – Because you are now shuffled (throughout the batch), you literally have friends all over the building. I have friends in each section in ABM or STEM. I guess it’s safe to say that your network will expand because you’ll meet a lot of new people and you’ll make new friends. Trust me, it’s super fun!

Survival Tips

  • Stock up on food and water – AND COFFEE. Naka-limang Kopiko 78° ata ako nung finals eh! Like other schools, we also have a canteen which sells overpriced food. Ironic because students aren’t earning money tapos ang mahal ng pagkain. Capitalism tsk, tsk. With that, it’s better if you bring your own food for you to avoid long lines and all that annoying stuff. Specially during finals! Bring your baon because it saves you time and money! Bring food in case of emergency as well. Light biscuits and other snacks will do. Bring your own food!!
  • Bring candies inside your bag – Can’t stress this enough. And I’ll be honest, I can’t avoid eating inside the classroom kahit bawal. Pero di naman yung tipong ulam na yung kinakain! Hahaha! No! Candies candies and light snacks lang. I don’t know if it’s just me but whenever I get sleepy or if I get bored during a class, I eat candies to stay awake. Also bring sweets with you to save you from hypoglycemia!
  • Have extra money for photocopies, pamasahe, or emergency – It’s important to have lots of coins inside your bag specially during finals! You’ll have to pay for reviewers, group collections, materials etc. so it’s better if you have extra cash.
  • Hoard ballpens and highlighters of all colors They can also double as coloring materials! Some teachers require a different color during answering and checking so stock up on blue and red pens!
  • Photocopies are life – Familians are sad because we no longer have a photocopying service inside the campus that’s why we pay extra just to get other handouts photocopied outside. Hassle. Ate Joan, where na u? Dito na us. Huhu, come back! DI KA FAMILIAN KUNG DI MO SIYA KILALA. And I also like to review using actual hand-outs instead of just reading them on the phone. At least masusulatan mo yung papel at pwede mong itapon pag sumakit loob mo. Eh yung phone? iPad? Pwede? Hahaha! PS. You can bring your own printer and laptop. Para di ka na sumabak sa digmaan sa library, dala ka ng printer mo. Hassle nga lang!
  • Toiletries + extra clothes + medicines – Better safe than sorry! Some activities during homeroom periods are soooo dirty. Like, I can’t stand being dirty that’s why I don’t join these games. Ayoko talaga mag amazing race. Like ano mo yon?! Ang dumi at nakakapagod kaya, haaay bimb. #Maarte. Bring extra clothes with you always!
  • GRAB BAG – Because of the recent earthquakes and things happening in our country lately, I won’t be shocked if the big one happens soon. With that, always have your grab bag or emergency bag within reach. You never know what’s going to happen so better safe than sorry! Fill it with food, water, flashlight, blankets, medicines, toiletries and other necessities just in case something happens. OH MY GOD, WAG NIYONG GUGUSTUHING GAMITIN YUNG GRAB BAG NA TO. Also, bring a whistle with you specially if there are emergencies!!
  • Bring your umbrella If you don’t want to get drenched, and if you don’t want to get dark, bring this with you. Also wear sunscreen!  You guys know how crazy our weather is.
  • Bigyan ng jacket! – Actually pwede kang kumanta ng Let It Go sa lamig! I feel Elsa’s presence because it’s freezing cold inside the classrooms. Always bring a jacket with you! In my case, I bring a blazer because one, I’m that extra, and two, I want to look like a Korean high schooler.
  • Study hard, pray harder – Oh, for the love of St. Benedict, just Ora et Labora your way. Pero mas madalas atang nagiging Ora et Labora Labora Labora Labora ano? Prayer and work work work work work na yata eh. Naging Rihanna na! Kidding! Always have faith in Him. Wag ka lang pa-cute pa-cute diyan. It’s Ora et Labora, not Awra et Labora, okay? Pero di yung nagdadasal ka lang dahil (o kapag) may kailangan ka, pasalamat ka rin. Again, you can’t pray for an A and study for a B. You can’t pray for something and act less. Don’t question God and His abilities when your actions don’t match your prayers. Amen? Amen.

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  • Time management  – The first year of SHS is suuuuper challenging because I had a lot of work. I have my class VP duties which goes hand in hand with my studies, I have Cor Unum, I have my blog, and I have my part-time business. How the hell did I survive? Time management. I know that I’ve spread myself too thin but hey, I made it! I’m a big advocate of time management kaya I can’t stress how important it is to manage your time well. If you’re poor in this, nothing good will ever happen. You’re already a grown up so it’s important to know your priorities—get yourself a planner and use it. Ayusin mo buhay mo. Also, BE PUNCTUAL AT ALL TIMES AND STOP USING THE FILIPINO TIME AS EXCUSE. It’s never okay to waste other people’s time and your time. Sobrang daming nasasayang kapag nale-late, delay and all, I hope you guys know that. In addition to this, I just have a realization which is I think what schools really teach us by giving us a big load is that time management is everything, because years from now all those lessons and deadlines won’t matter, how you managed to get through those will. Just like in life, di ba? When punctuality becomes a habit, it will benefit you in the long run, believe me.
  • Advanced reading is better than cramming Acads bago lakads, readings bago feelings. As I’ve mentioned earlier, it’s important to manage your time. Use it wisely. Kung may project ka na next week yung deadline, start now if you can. Chances are, they will pile up and you’ll regret wasting your time. Shoutout sa mga teachers na sabay-sabay magbigay ng trabaho. Hello, di po kami robot. You better set aside other things to give room for what’s urgent. NEVER PROCRASTINATETama na muna yung KDrama, games, walwal, landi etc. In my case, my blog goes on a hiatus when there’s school. Stress is synonymous to Senior High. How do you get away with it? Do things ahead of time. Patikim pa lang yan, mas nakaka-stress kaya pag matanda na. 
  • Stop comparing yourself – Others may seem to get ahead of you but focus on your own journey. They may get better grades than you or whatever, but remember that their journey should not, in any way, stop you from doing your best. YOU CAN AND YOU WILL. The moment you stop is the moment you fail, keep going and never quit. You have your own multiple intelligence and your own set of talents so there’s no point for comparison. You’re special in your own way. You’re in your own time zone and in your own journey, focus on yourself and strive to be good in whatever you do.
  • Be responsible for your actions You’re already in your late adolescent stage so you’re expected to be mature. Sadly, marami pa ring immature kahit senior na, nakakaloka. Matanda ka na, alam mo na yung dapat gawin at hindi. Keep in mind that everything you do has an impact on your life—think before you speak and think before you act. Remember, what you say and what you do can be used against you.
  • Think before you clickIf you have included the words “Familian” or “Holy Family Academy” on your bio, be responsible for whatever you post online. One careless post may ruin the school’s reputation and yours without you knowing it. Be careful!
  • Save money  One big PAANO? List down your expenses everyday and if you have left over baon save them, kahit 20 pesos a day lang okay na. Or just allot a certain amount you can spend and save the rest. I know that most of us come from affluent families but that’s not an excuse for you to spend all that you have. You never know when will you need money! Don’t buy what you don’t need. I save money by just going out with friends once or twice a month, that way, I can spend my money on my needs and other school collections.  Frugality is key. (Dapat talaga sinasabi ko ‘to sa sarili ko eh.) 
  • Study hard but learn to take a break   Again, school is important but your health is equally important. Just keep your balance and everything will fall into place. Don’t spread yourself too thin. You’re still young and you need more time for yourself. Learn how to step back when needed for you to make multiple steps forward. Everything’s all about balance.
  • Be patient and trust in Him– Remember that this is just school and there’s so much more to life. Don’t forget that in time, God will reward you for all your efforts — He will give you what you deserve, not what you want. Always trust in His perfect timing and in His plans for you.  

That’s all! At the end of the day, this is just a training ground for college and for your journey to life—much more difficult and stressful than school. Senior High may be a dagdag gastos but remember, it will absolutely help you in the long run. Since we’re the pioneers of this program in the country,  it may take time for us to finish but rest assured that everything is going to happen at the right time and everything will eventually fall into place. Don’t be in a hurry, perfect timing lang guys, patience is a virtue. Mahirap pag hinog sa pilit. Just work and work and continue what you’re doing, every single effort will be worth it, believe me but most of all, believe in yourself! You aren’t supposed to have it all figured out at this moment, but it’s your task to know what’s your purpose.

Going back, don’t forget that the quality education and values that Holy Family Academy instills in you will definitely be worth the blood, sweat, and tears. You better uphold everything the school offers and let them shape you into the person you want to be. Let it be your motivation and inspiration to do better in the future. Maraming gustong mag-aral pero hindi nila kaya, that’s why YOU ARE BLESSED. Studying in a private institution like Holy Family Academy is already a big big blessing so make it a point that you study hard to provide a better life for the people around you! Wag mong sasayangin yung enrollment na pinagpaguran ng parents mo. Don’t ever.

And as I’ve mentioned in this blog post before, “Mahirap mag-aral pero mas mahirap ang walang pinag-aralan.”  Education is what’s going to take you further in life.

That’s it! Hope you guys learned a thing or two in this loooong post! Don’t forget to SHARE, comment and subscribe! See you all soon and may you have a wonderful school year ahead! 🙂

Shoutout to @HFAStucOfficial for the support!!! Please follow them guys!

That in all things, God may be Glorified!


A Complete Guide for Senior High School Freshies (Part 1)

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Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored or a paid post. The views and opinions are my own and do not reflect the views of the school.

It’s back to school season once again and I’m off to my last first day in high school. Words can’t express how much I enjoyed being in this institution for 12 years. I’ve been a Familian for twelve long years and once a Familian, always a Familian. I will truly miss wearing the loose white polo and navy blue pants combo. Now that it’s my last year,  I’m expecting a year full of stress in all forms, hell weeks, and deadlines and since it’s my last shot in high school, I might as well do everything I can to make this year count! At last, I’m finally graduating! Screw you, DepEd

The first year of Senior High School didn’t disappoint. It was where I can truly say that I did shine bright like a diamond. (O ha!) Senior High is a jack of all trades. If you think that computing and experimenting are the main activities of STEM and ABM students, boy you’re wrong, that is the most common misconception about these strands. Basically, it’s like being a politician, businessman, speaker, lawyer, doctor, scientist, priest (yup), director, writer, photographer, entrepreneur, artist, model, host, and even a celebrity all at once. It sounds OA but that’s how I see it. Haha! I may sound pretentious, but Senior High exceeded my expectations and it was, without a doubt, one of the best years I’ve had. I wish it’ll be extended though, okay before you bash me, you’ll understand why once you reach SHS. It’s in this stage in your life where you’ll wish to remain high school forever, you’ll see that it’s truly one of the best times of your life. You’ll notice how fast time flies and how fast you’re growing up. Simply writing this kind of post indicates that I’m old already! You’re only young once, indeed.

Senior High is the “tween” stage of your academic life because you’re not in college yet, and you’re not in junior high school anymore. You are in the middle of these two chapters in your life. It’s the awkward stage. Frankly speaking, you’re stuck. SHS is a taste of college sans the sleepless nights and deadly stress commonly experienced by college students. Admit it or not, Senior High is one big spoon-feeding class. Although there are times when some teachers slack off, everything is handed to you so you just need to do your part.  Senior High, from how I see it, is just an extension of junior high because you’ll tackle some of your former lessons. I think it’s just called Senior High because it sounds more profound and you have specialized subjects but it’s just a dagdag gastos, I swear. This should’ve been my second year in college and just two years away from finishing school but K-12 happened. Haaaay. Surviving the first year of SHS only seemed like a far-fetched dream to me because of my anxiety and insecurities but through His grace, I managed to survive! And if I did, you will too!

Since I belong to the pioneer batch of Senior High students in the country, I have the bragging rights to create this post for all the undergraduates (and Senior High students also) right there! This is a complete guide on surviving Senior High! What to expect, what to do, study essentials, survival tips, and all things related to SHS! The following tips are from personal experience and I’ve categorized them for your convenience. I wrote this post as honest as I can and I did my best to tell what really happens in SHS. Again, it’s from my own experience and from my own point of view. No sugarcoating and all that stuff. All opinions are mine. ‘Wag niyo akong iba-bash! I hope this helps you in one way or another! Don’t forget to share, comment and subscribe!

Study Essentials

  • Keep your junior high school notes – Little did you know that the Chemistry test you failed in Grade 9 can help you soon? I’ve mentioned this many times on my Twitter and my old posts. Keep your JHS notes, books and photocopies, they’ll be useful in senior high because most of the lessons are just a review and these can be used as references. Most specifically in Chemistry, Earth Science, Physics and Math. Don’t throw or sell them, trust me you’ll use them soon. You’re welcome.
  • And don’t delete your school files on your pc – They’ll be helpful too!
  • English proficiency helps you a lot. – If you think that STEM and ABM students are future Einsteins, you’re wrong. Some of them are Shakespeares too! Yep, English literacy is very very very important as you’ll do lots of reading, writing and speaking. I swear, this is everything. Minsan nga nagtataka ako kung STEM ba talaga ‘to o English major. Presentations are easy as pie if you’re fluent in English. A wide vocabulary coupled with superb writing skills goes a looong way too!
  • Buy your own laptop, camera (preferably with tripod) and pocket wifi – You might say that I’m asking you to splurge on these gadgets but that’s absolutely not my intention. I can’t deny the fact that they’re now school essentials because they make school work a lot easier compared to how it was before. They’re important because there are lots of shootings and editings to be done in SHS! Unfortunately, there’s no wifi connection exclusively for students so it’ll be less hassle if you own a pocket wifi. Just let your classmates pay if they want to use it! Para di ka na nanghihiram sa iba, invest in these gadgets. They’ll be very useful when you’re doing research and you can use them ’til college so it’s  totally worth every cent. Invest in good brands too! SMART Pocket Wifi is good. Trust me. (PS. If you’re good in photo and video editing, congrats.)
  • Own a printer. With lots of ink. With a ream of bond paper. Yup. – Some of your notes are now posted in your Facebook group and being the quintessential millennial student that you are, you just print it out instead of writing it down (but I recommend writing it down sometimes because it’s a form of reviewing already [depends on the lesson though] ). Also, buy lots of papers, you’ll use plenty of them because of research. You have two (2) research subjects, mind you! Most projects are to be printed out as well so this is necessary!
  • Hoard yellow papers and cut them into various sizes –  THIS. THIS. THIS. One whole, one fourth, at one half crosswise naman lagi yung ginagamit so gupitin mo na, hindi yung minutes before the activity dun ka nanggugupit. Lagyan mo na rin ng pangalan o class number lahat ng ginupit mo para di na nila mahingi. O diba? That’s what I do. #LifeHacksByAndrei #Madamot #BumiliKayoNgPapelNinyo 
  • Jot down notes during discussions – Write down notes like what grade-conscious students like me normally do, but if the teacher discusses too quickly, ask for a copy of the powerpoint or take a picture while it’s flashed on the screen (Ooops, don’t bring a cellphone!). Personally, I don’t like to lend my notes, para kasing tinuturuan mo lang maging tamad mga kaklase mo, unless it’s very important of course. TIP: Use your laptop to type your notes during discussions. Some teachers are lenient so make the most out of it! Para di mo na kasuklaman yung teacher mong mabilis magturo, unahan  na kayo! Hahaha!
  • Have your own set of coloring materials – they may be brushpens, markers or coloured pencils. (I’d choose the latter) These are helpful when doing projects which are only to be done in school. Wag kang gumamit ng glitters o ibang makalat na designs, matanda ka na. Colored pens are convenient as well! Try only one medium and bring out the Picasso in you. Haha!
  • Buy your own whiteboard marker and eraser – After ten years of  struggling with chalk dust, you’re now officially using whiteboard markers. Wow naman, level up! Make sure you have your own too (in red and black ink) because you’ll be using these for board works in Math and Chem!! #WagKangParasite #BiliKaNgMarkerMo 
  • Friction pens are the bomb – an erasable pen saves you on a no-erasures type of test. It’s a life-saver. Not only that, you won’t need a correction tape anymore. Less hassle! Sana pwede ring burahin yung mga pagkakamali mo sa buhay no? Chos!

Only in SHS

  • Math is easier – For someone like me who struggles in Math, I find these Math subjects in SHS a lot easier compared before. Maybe because it’s just a review that’s why I can still remember some lessons? Or naawa na talaga si God sa akin. I struggled with only few lessons this year unlike when I was a junior!! Math is way ~friendlier~ in Grade 11, honestly. I think that’s because you’ll bid goodbye to Math in Grade 12. Haha! (Yes, you read that right. No Math. Grade 12.) Pre-calculus and the first part of Basic Calc were fun. Stat is easier too! Cheers to that! You’ll know how to draw a perfect circle because of pre-cal. Hahaha!
  • Memorize Chemistry terms by heart – If you took up STEM and you want to ace Chem this year, review all your Grade 9 lessons, like all of them. Also, memorize the first 100 elements complete with abbreviations, numbers and atomic weight (kahit ‘di na pero kung gusto mo, go lang!), memorize the cations and anions as well! Memorize them by heart, yung tipong kahit nakapikit ka marerecite mo, because they will make your life 100000x easier. What I did was I wrote them (elements and ions) down on a manila paper tapos dinikit ko sa walls at ceiling ng room ko tapos paulit ulit ko rin silang sinulat kaya na-memorize ko. Kaya kahit nakahiga ako ions at elements nakikita ko. O di ba? Chem is life! See for yourself and thank me later! Prepare for Org Chem as well! Kaya niyo yan!!! Fighting!!!
  • You have different subjects every semester – Same teachers, different subjects. Same schedule din. Nothing exciting but you have to pass your subjects because you can’t advance to the next sem if you don’t!!! Save your notebooks and reuse them too. Tipid!
  • It’s a blessing to have a complete set of books – but if it’s not really required, borrow one from the library (they have a copy for sure!) and have the needed pages photocopied. Some books aren’t really used naman eh, ask first if it’s really needed so you won’t waste money. I wasted so much money on school requirements na di naman ginagamit. Nakakainis. ANG MAHAL MAHAL TAPOS DI GAGAMITIN WTF.  (Important: Should someone borrow your book, only lend them to people you really know and trust, some students are so klutz.)
  • New classmates = new friends – I’ve made new friends ever since we (best section students) were distributed! We now have new classmates (after nine freaking years) who will be with us for a year. It’s kind of refreshing to see new people because everyone is new to you (or us, rather.) This is a clean slate so make new friends, you’ll enjoy their company too! Have a conversation with them so you’ll know more about each other. Some of them are really friendly and funny! Remember, you’re with them for ten months. Here’s the thing: make sure you choose the right ones though.
  • Get ready for freeloaders – it’s everyone’s issue. Don’t you just hate it when someone makes zero effort and earn the same credit as you—yet you’re the one who’s done all the work? That’s just unfair, isn’t it? I’ve struggled with “pabuhats(that’s what they call themselves) the entire year. As a leader most of the time, I try to give others work which I know they can accomplish easily but others just lack effort and have zero brain cell activity. I’ve been considerate enough but some are just abusive and in the end, you’ll just let them be. Sad and ugly truth. Okay, teachers, we give them work naman talaga, wala lang po talagang utak yung iba that’s why we end up doing everything. Alangan naman i-asa namin grades namin sa kanila diba?  If you’re a top student, give them work. GIVE THEM WORK. Let them work when it comes to group projects because that’s how it should be. It’s my mistake when I let them pass mediocre work and still give them fairly decent marks. I regret doing that, don’t be like me. Dapat di ka palaging mabait. And if you’re an average student, learn how to work with excelling students, don’t complain if they’re instructing you to work on something and if they demand something better from you. Understand that they’re more focused on school than you do, wag kang ano diyan. Kaya nga nag-aaral ka di ba? Point is, know how to work well with other people. Former best section students, get ready. This is a year-round issue in every class because some people can be idiots, you know. #SorryNotSorry
  • Secure a locker and keep your things in a safe place – since you don’t really know your new classmates that much, there might be someone, a kleptomaniac, so keep an eye out on your belongings! Trust no one. Secure a locker at the beginning of the school year. They just cost 100 pesos for the whole year, I think? Secure your bags and stuff because I have friends who lost their books (Chem, Fil, Math books, all of which are important) inside the classroom and poof, they’re gone girl. I also lost some school supplies. Others don’t even ask for permission before borrowing stuff from other people. #MgaWalangHiya. This is why I have trust issues!!! Something needs to be done regarding this issue. You really have to take care of your personal belongings.
  • Cleanliness is next to grade-consciousness – As ridiculous as it sounds, even the trash bins and waste segregation is also graded and recorded. And it really (reaaaalllllyyyy) has an impact on your grades. It can save your failing Chem grade kaya maglinis ka! I can’t stress how important this is because it can either make or break your grades. It has a huge impact on your overall grade, believe me. Kahit konting points lang pwedeng magbago buhay mo. Dapat talaga maging steward of God’s creation ka. Hahaha!
  • Choose an easy but timely research topic – Pleaaaasee!!! Wag niyong pahihirapan mga sarili niyo. Don’t be like us! Choose a good topic wherein you can easily get information from references like the internet and books because RRL is life! Research requires a lot of time, effort and brain cell activity and it will exhaust you in all aspects. Let’s be honest, Practical research? Really? It’s not, and will never be, practical at all. Kakastress at kakapagod kayang mag-thesis! Madali lang siya actually, depende lang sa topic niyo. Ma-trabaho at matagal nga lang gawin. And to think that you have two research subjects pa! Homaygahd. Choose your respondents wisely too. Pick a batch or section na alam ninyong maayos sumagot. Some student respondents think that this research is a joke that they end up answering stupid things on your questionnaires. You’ll experience doing this too, kiddos. #MakakarmaDinKayo. When it comes to OD, review your paper very well because your panelist will find a hole in your research, trust me. Magigisa talaga kayo. Kapag di mo ma-gets yung tanong, dapat di rin nila maintindihan sagot mo, gantihan lang yan. Idaan niyo rin sa token. Charot! Just review your paper well, be confident, practice your presentation and don’t panic. Seriously, the OD can be your last chance in case you get low scores in your final manuscript.
  • PE will kill you, like literally.Bakit kasi di ako pinanganak na athletic?! Anyone who says PE is easy will burn in hell.  This is my most dreaded subject because I am not ~physically fit~. To tell you honestly, PE in SHS is better because there are no dances anymore and I CANNOT DANCE OH MY GOD. You have hardcore workouts instead. Tragic. Mamamatay ka sa burpees, push ups, planks and all those exercises. Kim Bok Joo lang ang peg. I struggled so much oh my gosh I’m crying. Ang dami kong nabuhat sa mga projects pero di ko mabuhat sarili ko. (But frisbee during second sem is sooooo fun!!!!)

Friendly Reminders

  • Grades are important Yes I know grades don’t necessarily measure your intelligence but they measure the effort you give on a particular subject They just show how willing or how dedicated you are to do your best in something. It’s just this year that I realized that it’s very rewarding to have decent marks. Okay lang talagang maging grade-conscious basta alam mo lang ang hangganan mo. As long as you don’t step on anyone, it’s okay. Never settle for mediocrity, you know. It feels good when you know that your hard work pays off in the end. If you know that you can do it, you’ll be driven to do better next time. You’ll be motivated to learn.  Wag niyong balewalain yan, that can help too. Nakaka-boost din yan ng self-esteem no! Para saan pa pag-eenroll mo, di ba? But let’s not forget the real essence of school which is learning. They’re just numbers after all.  Keep your balance! NOTE: Your high school grades can also help in your college admission. They can be a basis whether a university will accept you or not. Told you, never underestimate the power of your grades.
  • BUUUUT rest is also important Dapat kahit stressed, mukha pa ring fresh. That’s my life motto. Kidding! Study hard but take a break if you need and if you can. This year is really exhausting so take advantage of long weekends and shortened periods! There are lots of vacations throughout the (school) year so make the most out of them! Pero di yung tipong puro relax relax ka lang, baka pati grades mo magpapahinga din. It’s just this year na nagpapa-late ako pag wala talagang ginagawa because I’d rather sleep than be idle in school. ONE GOOD TIP: Don’t go to school early during final exams! They start late, so just arrive 40 minutes before the exams so you have more time to review and sleep! Senior High students also have a longer break than JHS because we are more ~stressedt and shookt~ than them. Feeling college lang.
  • Your talents will help you If you’re an artist or a performer and you feel bad for choosing the Academic track, I know how it feels because I’ve been there too. There are lots of questioning and all but did I ever regret taking STEM? No. Don’t worry, your talents won’t go to waste. Holy Family Performing Arts Academy na yata tayo eh! Kidding! There are lots of school events all year round and most of them are performances or talent shows. HFA pa? You’ll do good if you know how to play your cards right! Strike while the iron is hot.
  • Listen always Some teachers give items in exams which aren’t found in your hand-outs so you better listen! Be a good listener. Di yung papasok sa right ear tapos lalabas din sa left. Very wrong. Nako, kung di ka marunong makinig anong mangyayari sa’yo? What’s the point of going to school if you don’t?
  • Readings bago feelings – If you think that it’s the perfect time to have a shot at romance, better think again. I know it’s good to fall in love but seeing your grades skyrocket from the ground is better. Mas masaya kayang makita kapag worth it lahat ng efforts mo sa school. Eh yung efforts mo sa kanya, worth it ba? Invest your time for yourself, for your studies, for your loved ones muna. Pwede pa yung pa-crush crush lang pero wag mong hahayaang ma-crush buhay mo. Joke! Aral bago landi! Lol, I have no room for that, obviously.

That’s the first part of this series! If you’re reading this, thank you for reading the full post. I hope it helped you in a way. Dalawang buwan kong ginagawa yung post na ‘to so basahin niyo please huhuhu. Haha! The second part will be up real soon! Watch out!


Photos by Lucas Gantioqui